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USAF Pilot Training - Soloing the T-37

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Old March 23rd 08, 05:45 PM
aviatorr727 aviatorr727 is offline
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First recorded activity by AviationBanter: Mar 2008
Location: Florida Keys
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Default USAF Pilot Training - Soloing the T-37

I posted a lot of pictures from my USAF Pilot Training at Williams AFB, Arizona at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/aviator...7601902012851/

Here is the story of how I soloed in the T-37

Most Air Force instructors in the Pilot Training program were calm, reasonable men who used enlightened techniques to train pilots. There were a few insructors, however, we labled as "screamers". The kindest thing I can say of them is that they must have believed that yelling, screaming, and occasionally squeezing our oxygen hoses so that we could not breathe, was a way of ensuring that we would learn to function under-pressure, if things went really bad.

On the day that I was to solo in the T-37, I had no idea that this would happen. We were flying landing patterns, and suddenly my instructor started shouting at me : " If you don't fly the next pattern better, I'm going to ground your ass and you're never gonna fly another *&#[email protected]*- Air Force plane as long as you live"

I flew the next pattern as best I could and my instuctor shouted: "OK, I'm done. Land this fu---ng airplane full stop! "

I was crushed, thinking that my career as a USAF pilot was now over.
We pulled into the parking spot and I reached over to shut both engines down. He slapped my hand, shut down the right side engine, climbed out, reached inside and started securing his seat belt and oxygen hose.

He said : "I've had enough and I'm getting out. Don't forget to restart the right engine. I want to see 3 good landings. Are you gonna go out and kill yourself? "

I replied: " No Sir "

He answered: "Well, if you do, go do it somewhere that I don't have to watch, stay off of the radio and go-in like a man"

I soloed OK and decided that I would later ask my Flight Commander for a different IP. Next morning, I gathered up my courage to do that, but before I could say a word, my Flight Commander assigned me to another IP to whom I'm forever in his debt for teaching me a lot more about flying.
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